Stellenbosch, South Africa – A complex financial restructuring and internal forensic investigation into the business is almost complete at Steinhoff.
End of tunnel in sight for troubled Steinhoff
Steinhoff is a large vertically integrated, multinational company. It owns and operates a number of mattress retailers such as Mattress Firm in the US and Bensons for Beds in the UK. It is also active in the furniture market and is a significant consumer of polyurethane foam.
The company has employed PwC to investigate its 2017 and 2018 financial structure and position. That report should be available to the company just after the end of February 2019.
At the same time PwC is investigating the company's financial statements for 2017 and 2018. It now appears, Steinhoff said, that it will publish audited statements in mid-April 2019 for the Group.
Chairperson Heather Sonn said: 'We continue to approach these projects with maximum effort and commitment as we seek to bring them to a conclusion.'
Trouble became evident at the company in early December 2017 when it delayed the publication of its annual financial statement.
In a statement on 5 December 2017, it said: 'New information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation.’
At the same time Markus Joost, then CEO, resigned.
That news broke as the public prosecutor in Oldenburg, near Steinhoff’s European headquarters in Westerstede, Germany, started investigating the company in August 2017 year over accounting irregularities, which may have overvalued the business.
Steinhoff has refinanced numerous parts of its business over 2018. For example, it sold non-core assets in December 2017. In October 2018 Mattress Firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. In late November, it emerged from Chapter 11 with 660 fewer stores and $525 m additional financing.